To kick off Week 2 of the 2017 IndiePendence Celebration, author Melissa Blue shares her secrets on crafting the perfect cover art

The perfect cover design has very little to do with the actual aesthetics of a cover. I know. This sounds counterintuitive. Most people believe the point of a cover is to look good enough that people will buy your book. I say the point of the cover is to look good to the audience who are built to love your book. You wouldn’t want a cover that is perfect for thriller readers when you’ve written an epic fantasy novel.

So how do you get the right cover for the right audience?

Step 1: Choose your image program

The very first step, if you are going to make your own, is using a reliable program. I use GIMP, but I know many people who use and love Photoshop. Both programs have a pretty steep learning curve.

Don’t be scared. Youtube is your best friend. You can learn not only about the tools you can use, but how to manipulate images.

Step 2: Research your genre

The second step is heading to Amazon—or whatever is your preferred vendor—and search for books that are like yours. I write erotic contemporary. Some of the bestselling, and beloved authors right now are:

M. O’Keefe

Victoria Dahl

Charlotte Stein

These are covers of their newest releases, and they properly scream steamy romance. Their covers grab the audience I want—romance readers who don’t mind spice between the pages. There is also not a clear standard, meaning there aren’t a couples almost kissing on each of these covers. Just the one. I have choices of a popular design.

Step 3: Choose your stock

With that in mind, I hit a stock site. This, honestly, is where most of my time is spent when I make a cover.

Good stock is the key to avoiding any headaches down the line. Sometimes you can love an image but it’s too dark, and not even manipulating in GIMP or Photoshop will save it. Sometimes you get everything just right but the font can get lost in arms or a white T-shirt. I would definitely recommend downloading comps and working with them before plunking down money on a stock. I would also keep my eye out on stock deals.

Step 4: Choose your font

But once you have your stock, the second hurdle is font. It’s probably the biggest hurdle. You can have awesome stock, a kick butt design, but it can all fall apart because the font doesn’t quite fit the cover. Or it’s not legible at thumbnail size. There are many reasons why a font doesn’t work.

Take these two pictures as an example:

Which title is easier to read?

The one tip I can give is remember that the font on your cover or graphic should be its own design. You can find some awesome fonts for free on DaFonts. If you have the means, you can check out Myfonts.

There’s more to learn about making graphics that standout. Practice your skills. Play around with images and fonts. And remember the purpose is making a graphic that is perfect for your audience. Know your audience and you’re halfway there.

Check out Melissa’s upcoming release, Three Little Words!

Step by step, Melissa Blue shows us how to craft the perfect book cover #IndieMonth2017 #giveawayThree Little Words by Melissa Blue
on July 19, 2017
Pages: 212
Add it to your To Read shelf: Goodreads
Buy or reserve your copy online at*: Amazon (Kindle) | B&N | iBooks
Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Facebook

“We need to talk.”

There’s only one reason a woman says that three months after a one-night stand. She’s pregnant, and she plans on keeping the baby. Porter can handle that — he’s always planned on being a father, and doing better at the job than his own dad ever did. Sure, he's always envisioned the wife then kids, but he's used to fixing things that are broken.

Unfortunately, this isn’t just any woman. She’s his sister’s best friend: Iris. And three months ago, she wasn’t looking for anything from him but his body, and it’s all she wants now.

Porter has always wanted the real deal, and he’s starting to think he could have it with Iris, if she’d just bend enough to let him in.

But Iris has learned one thing in her life: you can’t bend for anyone, because once you start, you won’t stop til you break.

*This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

About Melissa Blue

Melissa Blue’s writing career started on a typewriter one month after her son was born. This would have been an idyllic situation for a writer if it had been 1985, not 2004. She penned that first contemporary romance, upgraded to a computer and hasn’t looked back since.

Outside of writing, Blue works as a mail clerk for the federal government, has a paralegal certificate (that she has more use for as a dust pan) and is a mother of two rambunctious children. She lives in California where the wine is good and, despite popular belief, is not always sunny.

Since 2012, she’s made her own graphics from covers to teasers and book trailers. She currently works for Sandra Brown as a virtual assistant making book teasers.

Giveaways!

These are open to US & international readers! Leave a comment on today’s post, then fill out the prize widgets below to enter to win these fantastic prizes! Not sure what to chat about?

  • Do you make your own covers?
  • What do you find most intimidating about creating the perfect cover?

Sponsored by author Chudney Thomas: $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Win one of 12 prizes from our event sponsors! Including a $25 Amazon Gift Card, jewelry, swag, and TONS of ebooks!

Note: This prize widget is shared between both sites, and you can get points for comments once per day. Which works out great with the schedule, because between the two, there is one post every day. =) Visit and comment daily to hit em all!

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DON’T MISS: Hildie McQueen on when to take your writing full time

PLUS: Bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti shares her keeping-sane tips for the busy writer!